My bourbon chocolate pecan pie is a seasonal favourite in my family. These cupcake size versions are perfect single serving mini pies - essentially a chocolate pecan tassie with some coconut and bourbon thrown in. They make for a great party dessert and are an easy freezer-friendly treat.
What is Kentucky Pie
My mini pecan pie recipe is based on a Kentucky pie, which is an adaptation of Kentucky Derby pie.
The Kentucky Derby pie was developed by the Kern family in Louisville, Kentucky in 1950. In its original form it was a chocolate walnut pie, using vanilla and no bourbon. The family trademarked the name Derby Pie and has infamously pursued litigation against cookbooks for publishing recipes under the name.
As you may suspect, the chocolate and nut pie combination became extremely popular with many variations cropping up over the years. Amongst these, the Kentucky Bourbon Pie has become a much loved classic - made with chocolate, bourbon and pecans!
Making Mini Pie Shells
In order to make the mini pie shells for this recipe, you can use just about any standard pie crust, such as my easy all-butter pie crust. You'll need the equivalent of one full size pie crust worth of dough. My all-butter crust recipe will make enough for two crusts, so halving the recipe would be sufficient for these mini pies.
Divide your dough into twelve equal pieces. I do this with a dough cutter, but you could use a sharp knife.
Roll the each piece into a circle, approximately 4" in diameter. These need to be large enough to line the holes of a standard 12-hole muffin pan. Gently press these into the muffin pan, until all twelve spaces are filled.
For best results, try to ensure the pie crusts come up to the top of the muffin holes. As you can see below, I went for a bit more of a rustic look. This is fine and will result in perfectly delicious mini pies, but you will likely have a bit of leftover pie filling when spooning this into the shells.
The pan does not need greased as there will be enough butter in your crust that these should not stick.
Once the mini pie shells are shaped, place your tin into the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie Filling
So these were one of my first experimental bakes in university. I was using a recipe from a magazine for Kentucky bourbon pie, but didn't have enough pecans or chocolate. Enter: coconut!
Shredded coconut is one of my favourite ingredients - in this recipe, you can substitute an extra half cup of pecans if you would rather not use it.
Otherwise, you'll need:
- Sugar - both caster sugar (or superfine granulated) and packable light brown sugar (known as muscovado in the UK).
- Flour - a few tablespoons of plain or all-purpose flour to help the filling to set.
- Molasses or dark treacle
- Unsalted butter, melted
- Bourbon - this will cook out during baking, so don't worry about the alcohol content! If you would prefer, you can omit the bourbon and use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.
- Dark Chocolate - either chips or chopped. I like to use Green & Black's 70% cocoa bars in this recipe, but any good quality chocolate will work.
- Pecans - roughly chopped.
- Sweetened shredded coconut such as Baker's brand. You can substitute this with dessicated coconut, but this will have less impact on the flavour and texture of the finished product. Alternatively you can substitute with more chopped pecans if you do not want to use coconut in for the mini pecan pie.
Making the Pie Filling
Pecan pie filling is another fabulous one bowl wonder. Its pretty much the type of recipe where you throw it all in together, stir it up and are good to go.
For ease of mixing, the best way to proceed is:
- Mix the sugars, flour and butter together.
- Add the other wet ingredients - the bourbon, molasses and eggs.
- Once you have your liquid filling, stir through your pecans, coconut and chocolate
Filling Mini Pastry Shells
Once your mixture is ready, remove your crust from the refrigerator.
Using a spoon or cookie scoop, add pie filling to each shell. It is important not to overfill these as the pecan pie filling will expand slightly while baking. Fill each shell to just below its top crust edge.
This may result in a little leftover pie filling, but you want to avoid overfilling your pastry cases. Overfilling may result in the pies sticking to the tin and being more difficult to remove once baked.
Bake your mini pecan pies in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling appears set.
When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin until you are able to handle this. Then, gently remove the mini pies from their moulds.
If you are struggling to detach any, use a toothpick to circle round the edge, this will help to dislodge these chocolate pecan tassies.
These individual chocolate pecan pies will easily keep for several days at room temperature. Ideally store in an airtight container on the counter and consume within 5 days.
Yes indeed! These are great as a make ahead party dessert, especially for the holiday season. They freeze easily for up to 3 months. Defrost before consuming.
These chocolate pecan tassies are great heated up (especially served with ice cream). You can heat these in the microwave or in the oven. If heating in the oven, cover your tassies in aluminium foil and warm these carefully in a 325°F oven for about 10 minutes. In the microwave, heat in short 10 second intervals until at your desired temperature.
If you like these mini pecan pies, you might also like:
Mini Chocolate Pecan Pies
- 1 standard sized pie crust you can use prepackaged dough or use a half portion of my all butter crust
- ½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- ½ cup light brown muscovado sugar firmly packed
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour or plain flour
- ½ cup molasses or dark treacle
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoon bourbon
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips or solid chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan).
- Cut your pie crust dough into 12 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface roll each out into a circle roughly 4" in diameter, about ⅙" thick. Gently press these mini pie shells into the holes of a 12 hole muffin tin. Once all 12 mini pie shells are formed, place the muffin tin in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and butter.
- Add the molasses, eggs and bourbon, whisking to combine.
- Next add in the coconut, chocolate and pecans. Stir to evenly distribute.
- Spoon the pie filling into your chilled pie shells. Fill these up to the top of the crusts. If your pie crusts do not reach the tops of your muffin holes, do not fill the holes further with the filling as this will leak out and may cause your pies to stick in the tray. You may have a little leftover filling if your crusts are lower.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin until you are able to handle this. Then, gently remove each from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.